It was "a slap in the face" to see the mother of a 9-year-old Bremerton boy who brought to school a gun that discharged and wounded a classmate plead guilty Tuesday to two weapons violations in exchange for dismissal of an assault charge, said the parents of the wounded girl.
The mother of a 9-year-old Bremerton boy who brought to school a handgun that discharged and wounded a classmate in February pleaded guilty Tuesday to two weapons charges.
Jamie Lee Chaffin, 34, will face a recommended sentence of one year and two months in jail, said Kitsap County prosecutors.
In a plea deal, Chaffin pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm. In exchange, prosecutors dropped a third-degree felony assault charge.
Chaffin, a felon who also goes by the name Passmore, could have faced five years in prison if convicted as originally charged.
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The parents of the shooting victim, Amina Kocer-Bowman, 9, said the legal compromise was “a slap in the face.”
“We want legitimate accountability for the heinous act that nearly ended her life. We want responsibility from those whose irresponsibility and negligence nearly cost us our daughter’s life,” wrote John and Teri Bowman in a statement released after Tuesday’s hearing in Kitsap County Superior Court.
According to Bremerton police, Chaffin’s 9-year-old son obtained a .45-caliber handgun while he was visiting his mother and her boyfriend at their Allyn-area home a few days before the shooting.
On Feb. 22, Chaffin’s son took the weapon to Armin Jahr Elementary School, where it discharged while in his backpack and critically wounded Amina, a classmate.
Amina underwent five surgeries at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center before her release on April 3.
Chaffin’s son pleaded guilty in juvenile court in March to reckless endangerment and bringing a weapon to school. He was sentenced to probation and counseling and ordered to write a letter of apology to his victim and her family.
Chaffin’s boyfriend, Douglas L. Bauer, 50, was also charged with assault and unlawful weapons possession. On Tuesday, a Kitsap County Superior Court judge dismissed the weapons charges.
Bauer is scheduled to face trial on the assault charge in July, according to Kitsap County Deputy Prosecutor Jeremy Morris.
Prosecutors said that Chaffin and Bauer were negligent for leaving the loaded gun where the boy could find it.
The Bremerton school shooting was the first of three child shootings that took place within three weeks in Western Washington.
On March 10, Jenna Carlile, the 7-year-old daughter of an off-duty Marysville police officer, died after being accidentally shot by a younger sibling who found his father’s handgun while they were seated in the family’s van as their parents stood nearby in Stanwood, according to Stanwood police.
Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Roe said on Tuesday that his office has not yet determined whether criminal charges will be filed against the officer, Derek Carlile.
On March 14, 3-year-old Julio Segura-McIntosh accidentally killed himself when he found a handgun that had been tucked under a car seat by his mother’s boyfriend while they were parked at a gas station in Tacoma.
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist filed second-degree-manslaughter charges against the boy’s mother, Jahnisha McIntosh, 23, and her boyfriend, Eric Vita, 22. Lindquist said they were criminally responsible for leaving McIntosh’s son in a car without adult supervision with a handgun within reach.
Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or email@example.com
Information from Seattle Times archives and The Associated Press is included in this report.